Atari’s famous Quantum is a highly collectible game among arcade gamers for many different reasons. One of those reasons is that, like most Atari games, Quantum has some great artwork giving a idealized illustration of the gameplay. Most hardcore collectors may know that artwork for most of the game has been reproduced, or is in the middle of reproduction. But for those new collectors out there with big dreams of completely remaking their own Quantum, here are some resources in one place for you to find all of the artwork you need.
Joe Magiera’s reproduction Quantum marquees
Which Quantum marquee is the reproduction and which is the original? It’s hard to tell isn’t it?
Joe had a relationship already with Scott Evans, who just one year prior in 2003, went to the old Atari location (renamed to Midway West and later shut down) and saved artwork films, production artwork, and many other goodies from destruction. Joe got with Scott to borrow the original film for the Quantum marquees to print up a small run. The original Quantum marquees were silk screened on glass, and Joe chose to make these repros out of plexi for two reasons; cost and preserving the value of the original marquees. On Joe’s repro, the light blue color used in the main body of the text is a lighter shade of blue than the original. It’s kind of hard to tell in a .jpg image but if you compare an original with the reproduction you can see the difference. Joe went through so many different blues trying to match it as close as possible, and this was the best possible color choice.
Joe Magiera did an awesome job contracting this reproduction job in 2004, and as of this writing (March 2008) he still has some Quantum marquees left. If you are interested in purchasing a marquee, you can contact him with his email from the Google Arcade Collecting Group.
Quantum Marquees Related Links
Reproduction Quantum Control Panel Overlays
A little history – The vectorlist collectors had been looking for an unapplied NOS CPO for a long time. When one popped up on ebay, Tom McClintock, Noel Johnson and Joe Magiera formed an agreement and bought the control panel overlay togther. At this time in 2000, Atari was still in business so it wasn’t possible to use any original artwork films. They enlisted Roy Kaplan to vectorize the Quantum artwork. Roy had a great reputation from previous work he did on Gravitar, Tempest, Black Widow and Major Havoc.
Tom McClintock did most of the leg work from there getting the control panel overlays printed. But the bad thing was that the printer he took the Quantum artwork to, after they delivered the final CPO’s, went bankrupt and didn’t return any screens or artwork back to Tom. The artwork is lost and would have to be recreated from Roy’s original vectorized file.
Screen printed on 10mil Polycarbonate Velvet Lexan there was only a limited number of control panels available and have long since sold out. I am sure a number of die hard collectors got their hands on one, and if you can find out who owns one, you might be able to pay a premium for theirs. You might also contract one of the original guys involved in the reproductions (Tom McClintock, Noel Johnson and Joe Magiera) to see if they have any extras left. Or, you could make another small run of reproductions yourself, but the demand would probably be very low based on the number of original Quantum’s produced and this run of control panel overlays.
Quantum CPO Related Links
Quantum Kickplate and Sideart Artwork
Archer is also in the process of re-creating the Quantum sideart and kickplate artwork. I can’t find an image on his home website of his progress, but here is a proof of Archer’s Quantum sideart from 2006 that I got from Francis Mariani of Ataricade.
Archer has established himself as one of the most accurate in classic arcade reproduction artwork, up there with any of the printers today like Phoenix Arcade, This Old Game and Prok. However, his artwork is produced with a high end inkjet which makes traditional collectors spew obscenities like Adam Sandler in a McDonalds. Some collectors may not be interested in his inkjet artwork, but when you compare the game’s original artwork with the reproductions side by side, I wouldn’t have any arguements about putting inkjet artwork on my classic cabinets.
Here is a thread from last year on the Klov forums. We see reproduction Red Baron and Black Widow sideart that another collector purchased, and Archer comes in to defend himself and his great work. Here is an image of that Black Widow artwork comparing the reproduction vs. the original, it’s amazing;
Archer is a busy man, but eventually he’ll finish off the Quantum kickplate artwork. I wouldn’t suggest emailing him and bugging him about his projects, but here is Archer’s homepage, and the main directory of all of Archer’s work hosted at Ionpool (in case something isn’t linked up from the previous link. Great way to kill some time and drool on your polo as you look at all of the great classic arcade artwork he has produced / is producing. Apparently there was some work that still needed to be done to finish it, and ready to be printed.
Related Quantum Archer Artwork Links
Additional Quantum Oddities
If you take a look through the Quantum directory on Ionpool, you will see a piece of pre-production kickplate artwork. I don’t know if Archer owns that, or owned it and sold it, but here is that kickplate image. Louissurfer on Klov has a photo of this same piece of pre-production Quantum artwork, or has another copy of it.
There are two different versions of Quantum machines floating around. You will probably try to remake the original, but if you are interested in what the pre-production models looked like, Francis at Ataricade (great resource for this post, thank you) has an awesome webpage with photos showing both sets of Quantum artwork, check it out if you are curious (screenshot below).
Quantum artwork has been done, what else?
So, Quantum marquees have been made, sideart is probably in some stage of production, kickplate artwork has been vectorized and is on it’s way, and there is no artwork on the bezel, Atari just had smoked tempered glass in front of the monitor.
All you need to do is find a cabinet, and all of the electronic parts including a pcb (photo), and well…no one said this was going to be easy or even possible. If you manage to find a Quantum pcb and are willing to pay hundreds of dollars for it, you can contact Mark Spaeth to get one of his Quantum / Tempest harness adapters work with the board until you have your reproduction cabinet up and going.
Differences in Quantum and Space Duel / Gravitar cabinets
You will find information on the internet saying that Quantum had the same Atari cabinet as Space Duel and Gravitar, but this is actually not true. Although the cabinet ‘looks’ the same as Gravitar/BW and Space Duel, it’s actually not, in spite of what’s erroneously reported on various websites.
The Quantum cabinet was modified to allow for the extra bend in the control panel (See photo below). That extra bend was needed to allow space for the trackball, which needs more room than allowed in the Gravitar/BW and Space Duel control panels. (Gravitar/BW and Space Duel all use a button arrangement, which takes up very little interior space).
Also, the smoked monitor glass is longer in Quantum than those found in Gravitar/BW and Space Duel, because Quantum uses a vertically orientated monitor (Gravitar/BW and Space Duel all use a horizontally orientated montitor, and thus the monitor glass used on those cabs is smaller).
Back in August of 2004, Hans O had reproduction Quantum control panels and glass brackets produced. Here is a link to Vectorlist talking a little more about those repros. It appears as if Hans O sold out of the control panels, but if he had enough interest, he might be willing to do another run. Here is a photo of one of those reproduction cpanels; (Thanks Lou)
Good luck with your big dreams, you might be best to track down another collector and try to make an exact replica of the Quantum cabinet.
Know anything else about the Quantum artwork?
So, have any of the collectors heard updates on the Quantum artwork from Archer? Who prepaid for a set of sideart / kickplate artwork? Who bought one or more of the Quantum control panel overlays when Archer produced them a few years back? Anyone have a proof image of the Quantum kickplate reproductions? I would also love to have a photo or two of the reproduction control panel and glass bracket, if you would be willing to submit a photo.